Summary included many high-end designer brands such as

 Summary

 

The central focal point for this report is to analyse one’s own
consumer behaviour using relevant theories and concepts. This report intends to
address why we are drawn to certain brands, what our consumption activity says
about our identity, how we relate to brands through their marketing strategies
and lastly the significance of our reflective analysis to marketers for
understanding consumer behaviour.

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Furthermore, this report will present findings from our own
consumer behaviour habits which are relevant to theoretical concepts.  The use of theories and concepts admissible
will be implemented throughout the report, to apply consumption habits and
marketing strategies to theoretical concepts and arguments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.0                           Introduction

 

Consumer
behaviour (CB) is a central marketing tool that marketers exercise to establish
purchasing decisions from consumers. Blythe 2013 suggests “CB is a fundamental
component of marketing, as marketing is concerned with supplying, and
anticipating customer requirements”. There are many disciplines that affect
consumer purchasing activities such as psychology, sociology, anthropology,
economics and neuroscience. Others have considered CB to be the study of how
individuals make decisions on how to spend their available resources (time,
money, effort).  (Nair 2008:5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.0                    Brand Choices

 

The American
Marketing Association defines a brand as a name, term, design, symbol or any
other feature that identifies one sellers good or service distinct from other
sellers. Throughout the creation of my poster I included many high-end designer
brands such as Isobel Marant, Versace, Moncler and Saint Laurent. As a
consumer, buying designer goods is a huge part of my expenditure and the reason
I choose to buy such expensive products is mainly due to the materialistic society
we live in. This is also known as ‘conspicuous consumption’. Mason 1981 outlines
that conspicuous consumption is whereby consumers have a lavish consumption
process to complement their social prestige. This is whereby buyers acquire
luxury items to publicly array economic power and accumulated wealth of the
buyer. Such public displays allow consumers to attain or maintain their desired
status. I can say this buying technique applies to my behaviour as two years
ago I purchased a brand-new BMW 1 series car and I felt as though this purchase
increased my social status.

External
influences can also affect brand choices. For example, the way in which
marketers communicate with consumers.  Noel 2009 explains that the marketing efforts
of a firm affect brand choices. This includes the product its self, the price
of the product, where the product is promoted and lastly the places where the
product is offered for sale. This can also be said for my consumption as I am
more likely to buy an item from the retail store such as Selfridges or Harvey
Nicholls opposed to items from less prestigious shops such as Topshop or River
Island. Therefore, I feel the place where the product is offered for sale is a
major determent in my buying decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.0 Brand Loyalties

 

Brand Loyalty
is a determining factor for buyers. Gabriel and Lang 2015 explain that branded
goods become briefly a part of an extended self, at least temporarily boosting
identity, self-image and self-esteem. To assess why a consumer is loyal to a brand,
includes latent and manifest motives. Manifest behaviour is conscious and deliberate
whereas latent motives are unconscious and unintended. For example, manifest
motives can be a way of describing consumer brand loyalties for example a
customer making a conscious decision to repeatedly buying the same type of product
e.g. a car based on it being more comfortable and has high quality performance.
Whereas the latent motives of a customer repeatedly buying the same or similar
brand of car could include subconscious though processes such as ‘this brand
shows how successful I am’, ‘It’s a powerful brand, therefore It will make me
look powerful’.

To explain why
a consumer is loyal to a certain brand, Wright 2006 illustrates that consumers
can form loyalties to brands for several reasons. Most importantly this
includes that certain brands satisfies emotional and psychological needs of the
buyer. Along with this a brand can be recognised for its quality and
consistency and therefore having used the product once and liked the
experience, the consumer is likely to purchase again for example McDonalds
should taste the same around the world. Therefore, brand loyalties are formed. Furthermore,
Wright 2006 outlines that consumers are loyal to a brand as it reduces stress.
Purchasing decisions can be stressful especially if the item in question is
expensive however known brands reduce risks. For example, as a consumer If I was
looking on buying a winter coat that’s high quality and durable I would choose
a Moncler coat over a Primark coat as it’s a reliable brand which I have
purchased many times and always been satisfied with, whereas when I have bought
items from Primark in the past they have been faulty. Lastly brand loyalties act
as a time saving mechanism. It saves the consumer by not having to seek out and
test quality levels of items, if a consumer is happy with a certain brand their
loyalty lies with them.

 

 

 

 

 

4.0 Self Identity

 

Self-identity is
the perception or recognition of our characteristics as an individual especially
in relation to social context, (Stryker et al 2000). Self-identity is a
determining factor in some consumers buying habits. Self-identity is how a
consumer wishes to see themselves and this includes real and ideal self. Ideal
self is how the consumer wishes they were, whereas real self is the actual
objective self as others see us. To obtain their ‘ideal self’ consumers can
purchase products to help them obtain this self-identity. For example, if a
consumer wants to come across as a rich, successful powerful being they may
purchase expensive cars, designer clothing or take expensive holidays.
Accordingly, the purchasing of such goods and services can help reach our ideal
self, allows us to be consistent with real and ideal self, and allows us to
manage what others think of us, which is known as ‘impression management’.

Self-Identity
can also be linked to self-product congruence. Self-product congruence can be
described as when a consumer establishes their values through their purchasing behaviour,
(Ngamcharoenmongkol 2010). For example, body image is
a key component to self-identity. Bannister and Hogg 2003 explain that self-identity
can also be categorized as actual self and worst self. In this case marketers
can promote products to be consumed to avoid ‘worst self’ or minimizing ‘worst
self’. For example, last year I bought ready-made vegan meals from a local
business that advertised weight loss and improvements in health, these meals
were very expensive but was advertised to be beneficial.  The business promoted this diet plan to become
healthier and improve body image and this is an example of where marketers
entice buyers to reduce their ‘worst self’. As a consumer, I felt that buying
these meals would help me lose weight and therefore reduce my ‘worst self’, which
also helped me bridge a gap between my core self and ideal self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 Self concept

 

Self-concept
can be defined as “one’s perceptions of our feelings about oneself and can be
extended or modified by the possessions that one owns and uses” (Baker and
Saren, 2016: 150-151). This is whereby consumers can allow themselves to be
conceived by their purchasing habits. Furthermore, self-concept is a learned
construct which includes, imitation, self-identity, fitting in, establishing self-esteem,
avoid embarrassment and making an impression. Moreover, self-concept has four
attributes; it is learnt, it is stable and consistent, it can protect and
enhance a person’s ego and lastly it is unique to the individual.  Self-esteem is an applicable factor of Self-concept
and is also a main component to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs is a theory of motivation, and can explain why consumers buy items to
increase their self-esteem. Marketers can use this as a marketing technique in
market segments such as body image e.g. gym services, weight loss programmes or
sportswear. For example, Under Armour use boxing champion Anthony Joshua to
endorse their brand, who is an admired celebrity. Consumers who have low self-esteem
will see this celebrity wearing this brand and associate if they wear these
clothes too they themselves will be admired like the celebrity. Also, marketers
use celebrity endorsements to communicate with consumers to build reputation of
their brand. This relates back to brand loyalty and brand choices as mentioned
previously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.0 Reflective analysis

 

Upon reflection of my own
consumer behaviour I have learnt that I am drawn to certain brands as I feel it
enhances my social status and increases my ego and self-esteem when I am seen
wearing designer clothing or driving in an expensive car. Furthermore, I have
also taken into consideration why I am loyal to certain brands and will be a
repeat customer. For example, in the two years I have drove my BMW I have never
had a problem with it, therefore when my lease is up for renewal next year I will
be likely to purchase another BMW car.  Additionally,
after considering my own consumption activity I can say myself identity and
concept can be seen in my purchasing habits. For example, I mentioned before
about the healthy vegan meals to become my ideal self and boosts my self-esteem
therefore I feel that I relate to the marketing strategies of branding
products, self-Identity and self-concept. 
Lastly reflecting on my purchasing habits has shown how marketers
communicate with consumers for example, I have noticed companies such as
Selfridges send emails to those registered and address them to “exclusive
members” and use phrases such as ” shhh it’s a secret sale”, “for your eyes
only”, this entices customers to feel the company is speaking to them
personally. I feel as a consumer I’m more likely to buy from this sale as I feel
the invitation for the sale is personalised and I should take advantage of it.